New Jersey’s Online Poker Profits Tumble in 2017

January 22nd, 2018 | by Jason Reynolds

New Jersey’s online poker economy experienced a downswing in the final month of 2017 according to the latest revenue report from the state’s Division of Gaming Enforcement.

New Jersey online poker.

Online poker rake in New Jersey takes a tumble in 2017, despite the continued upturn in casino revenue. (Image:

Outlining the latest stats for the Garden State’s four networks, the financial overview shows a 7.8 percent drop in peer-to-peer revenue. The $164,424 shortfall not only left year-on-revenue floundering, by the annual total short of the mark set in 2016.

Not Even PokerStars Can Stop the Drop

News of an 8.5 percent fall in year to date (YTD) rake will come as something of a surprise for industry insiders given the presence of PokerStars. Despite its much-anticipated entry to the market in March 2016, initial interest appears to have waned in recent months.

In contrast to poker’s decline, casino gaming continued to go from strength-to-strength. On top of year-on-year revenue improving by 15.6 percent, casino gaming’s YTD win increased by 30.1 percent.

Thanks to the casino sector’s buoyancy, New Jersey’s online operators generated more revenue in 2017 than the previous 12 months. Taking into account mixed fortunes across the industry, YTD for internet gaming as a whole was up 24.9 percent to $245,605,982.

Liquidity Now a Necessity

With improvements needed in the poker sector, players will be looking towards the liquidity sharing deal agreed by Governor Chris Christie for salvation. Agreed back in October 2017, the innovation will see Delaware, Nevada and New Jersey form a three-way poker collation.

At this stage, a definite timeline for the pact hasn’t been published. However, with Delaware’s latest revenue report showing an 18 percent drop in poker revenue, regulators in the First State have every reason to progress the deal as quickly as possible.

In previous years, New Jersey’s Division of Gaming Enforcement may have been less inclined to rush through the process. Although the state is still the largest player in the US iGaming industry, the recent slowdown in poker earnings may generate a new sense of urgency.

How much the liquidity sharing deal will impact those involved is unclear. While there will certainly be more activity at sites operating in all three states, the future implications are harder to assess.

Greater liquidity will allow operators to offer larger prizepools and player incentives, which could attract news players to sign-up. This, however, isn’t guaranteed and it may remain the case that poker’s share of the US iGaming market continues to decline throughout 2018.


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